On this day : The 24th of July 1936 AD

Speaking Clock Introduced

showpic2

The first voice of the speaking clock was that of telephonist Ethel Jane Cane, who worked at the VictoriaTelephone exchange in London . She won a competition involving 15,000 telephonists, which incidentally helped no end to promote the upcoming service, her prize being eternal fame and ten guineas. Or fame until 1963 when another vice was used.
These days the equipment is of course digital, occupying space the volume of a suitcase; in 1936 the glass discs, relays, valves and other gizmos filled a room.
In time-keeping terms the new system, reached by dialling TIM (i.e. 846) in major cities like Manchesterand London, and 952 elsewhere, was another technological leap-forward as significant as that provided by the railway age. The railways brought in the need for time to be as closely co-ordinated as possible to allow for smooth timetabling; the speaking clock made that timekeeping work… precisely. At the third stroke.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s